AN AMBITIOUS multi-million pound scheme that will transform the face of Dungannon town centre as well as change the location of the cenotaph war memorial is set to begin at the start of next year.
Dungannon Regeneration Partnership, the traders association and Dungannon have been working to bring the £2.3million Public Realm scheme to fruition over the last five years.
The transformation will see a new two-way road replace the existing one-way system in Market Square, and more parking and dedicated shopping space.
In the first part of the scheme, work will commence on Castlehill avenue, extend throughout the Square and into the adjoining streets including Church Street, Scotch Street, Irish Street and Thomas Street.
The cenotaph memorial will be moved by about four to five feet as part of the works.
A spokesperson for the British Legion said they had been informed about the temporary removal of the memorial, and that they were happy with the plans as long as they did not interfere with the remembrance service in November.
UUP Councillor Walter Cuddy said that a lot of effort and time had already been invested in the scheme.
“This will come as a big economic boost for the town, especially during such difficult economic times”, he said.
“We have had to wait a good few years and endure spending freezes by the Department of Social Development, before finally getting the final go-ahead.
“The main focus of the work will be on the streetscape. At least three quarters of the Square will be dedicated to parking and the general shopping experience.
“In fact the main thrust of the scheme will be to preserve parking and improve access.
“The council is also planning further car park extensions on the Water Board site and at the back of Thomas Street.
“We hope that the new layout will lead people on a natural journey though the Square and up to the newly refurbished Ranfurly House and the Hill of the O’Neill.”
The Chairman of Dungannon Regeneration Partnership (DRP), Chris Morgan, has promised traders and visitors to the town alike, that “exciting times” lie ahead with the commencement of the new scheme, as well as other initiatives which have been planned by the local economic development organisation.